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Neighbors recount Beloit dispute, shooting

By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com
Published On: May 12 2014 06:30:04 PM CDT
Updated On: May 12 2014 08:49:03 PM CDT

Beloit police continue to investigate a deadly domestic dispute and an officer-involved shooting.

BELOIT, Wis. -

Beloit police continue to investigate a deadly domestic dispute and an officer-involved shooting.

The incident happened around 7:40 p.m. Sunday in the 900 block of 10th Street in the city of Beloit.

Officers went to a residence on 10th Street in connection to an unwanted person complaint, police said. When they arrived, they attempted to take the suspect, Christopher Rutherford, 40, of Beloit, into custody.

"He was able to separate himself from the officers, jump into a vehicle and was fleeing the scene," said Capt. Dan Risse, of the Beloit Police Department.

While pulling away, Risse said Rutherford hit Sheila Rosenbaum, 47, while police fired a number of rounds from their duty weapons at the fleeing vehicle.

"My husband and I were in watching TV, and we were watching a western and heard gunshots and we thought it was on TV," neighbor Linda Walmer said.

Rutherford allegedly then sped down the block, crashing his van on Roosevelt Street and running away, witness Damon Henthornsaid said.

"He was holding his side like he was hurt," Henthorn said. "It took him a couple seconds to get out because he hit the tree pretty hard."

Police said officers tried to perform lifesaving efforts on Rosenbaum. However, Rosenbaum died at an area hospital after she was taken there by Beloit paramedics.

Neighbors remember her as kind and friendly, and are in disbelief.

"That made me sick," Walmer said. "I just couldn't believe that so close to home here, and she never hurt anybody. I couldn't believe it."

Rutherford's daughter Lorraine said that her father and Rosenbaum had been dating, but had broken up a few weeks ago. She said her family hasn't been allowed to speak with Rutherford since the incident.

Beloit police have asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct an inquiry into the officer-involved shooting. Police said officers involved have been reassigned to an administrative role while the investigation continues.

Hospital officials would not comment on Rutherford's condition.

Beloit police have also not released what charges could be filed against Rutherford.

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